A First for Texas at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

Texas posts first back to back shutouts at home at Ballpark.

The way the Texas Rangers have pitched the last two days, their slugging slump hasn't been a problem.

AL West-leading Texas has consecutive shutout victories at home for the first time in 29 seasons after winning 6-0 Friday night over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors.

"The bats broke out a little bit but we're going to win when we get pitching like that," David Murphy said.

Vicente Padilla (5-3) pitched five effective innings, working out of jams that left seven runners stranded. Jason Jennings then went three innings and Jason Grilli, acquired this week after Colorado designated him for assignment, worked the ninth to close out Texas' fifth shutout.

Texas was coming off only its fourth 1-0 victory at home since Rangers Ballpark opened in 1994, over Toronto on Thursday after being shut out by the Blue Jays the previous game.

The last time the Rangers posted shutout victories on consecutive nights at home was in April 1981, when they had four shutouts in a row at old Arlington Stadium.

"(The pitchers) deserve a lot of credit for that," Michael Young said. "To do it against two pretty good teams is impressive."

Young snapped an 0-for-17 slump, two at-bats short of the longest drought in his career, with an RBI single in the second after Omar Vizquel's grounder got through first baseman James Loney's legs for a run-scoring error.

Hank Blalock led off the sixth against Hiroki Kuroda (1-2) with his 13th homer to make it 3-0. That ended the Rangers' four-game streak at home without going deep, one short of their longest power drought at their hitter friendly ballpark.

"Hopefully our offense is coming back," manager Ron Washington said. "We swung the bats, played defense and pitched. We did what we had to do. ... We know we can play with anybody. We're very confident."

The Dodgers (40-22) are 5-28 in American League parks since 2005.

They missed plenty of scoring chances in their third shutout loss this season. They stranded 11 runners and Loney, their RBI leader with 42, left five runners on his first two at-bats.

"It looks like we're still pressing to get hits," manager Joe Torre said.

Padilla won for the fourth time in five starts while throwing 108 pitches. The right-hander allowed four hits and walked three, but Los Angeles stranded three runners at third against him.

After Padilla walked two batters in a 29-pitch first that took nearly 15 minutes, Casey Blake hit a comebacker and center fielder Marlon Byrd recovered to catch Loney's fly ball for the final out.

Byrd initially took a couple of steps in, lost sight of the ball and then had to sprint back toward the wall to make the catch with his glove fully extended.

With the bases loaded in the third, Loney hit a looping fly ball to left that Murphy caught on the run near the foul line.

Juan Pierre had a leadoff hit in the fifth, but was left at third when first baseman Chris Davis snagged Andre Ethier's liner only inches off the ground and Blake struck out.

"They worked (Padilla) pretty good. He was a warrior out there and hung in there," Washington said. "They had many opportunities, and we made pitches in situations when we had to."

The trio of Texas pitchers combined to throw 173 pitches, the most ever by the Rangers in a nine-inning shutout.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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